If we base our opinions about the state of sustainable consumption on the number of so-called green products and services on the market, we might believe that everyone’s going green, or at least has somewhat of an interest in it. But when it comes to actually making greener choices, what is the real state of sustainable consumption?
Thanks to the work of National Geographic and GlobeScan, we now have a better understanding of the global trends and behaviors that have a positive (or neutral) impact on the environment, in the form of a quantitative consumer study of 17,000 people across 17 countries.
The Greendex Worldwide Tracking Survey measures consumer behavior in areas relating to housing, transportation, food, and consumer goods, and is the only index of its kind. The survey asked respondents questions about their use of green products, their behavior when it comes to energy conservation and consumption, their choices of transportation, their food sources, their knowledge of issues relating to the environment, and their attitudes about sustainability and the environment.
“The top-scoring consumers of 2012 are in the developing economies of India, China, and Brazil, in descending order. Those in emerging economies continue to round out the top tier of the Greendex ranking, while the lowest scores are all earned by consumers in industrialized countries. American consumers’ behavior still ranks as the least sustainable of all countries surveyed since the inception of the study, followed by Canadian, Japanese, and French consumers.” – Greendex
The full results are available at National Geographic, and if you’d like to see how you measure up in comparison with the survey, you can fill in your answers to a smaller subset of questions from the full survey.